India is endowed with rich and diverse natural, historic and cultural resources. However, it is yet to explore the full potential of such resources to its full advantages. Past efforts of conserving historic and cultural resources in Indian cities and towns have often been carried out in isolation from the needs and aspirations of the local communities as well as the main urban development issues, such as local economy, urban planning, livelihoods, service delivery, and infrastructure provision in the areas. The development of heritage cities is not about development and conservation of few monuments, but development of the entire city, its planning, its basic services, the quality of life to its communities, its economy and livelihoods, cleanliness, and security in sum, the reinvigoration of the soul of that city and the explicit manifestation of its unique character.
The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, launched the National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme on 21st January, 2015, with a focus on holistic development of heritage cities. The scheme aims to preserve and revitalise soul of the heritage city to reflect the city’s unique character by encouraging aesthetically appealing, accessible, informative & secured environment.
The HRIDAY Scheme offers tremendous opportunity towards an integrated, inclusive and sustainable development of some of the heritage cities/towns in India. HRIDAY offers a paradigm shift in India's approach to city development, bringing together urban planning/economic growth and heritage conservation in an inclusive and integrated manner with focus on livelihoods, skills, cleanliness, security, accessibility and service delivery.